Models versus radiosondes in the free atmosphere: A new detection and attribution analysis of temperature


Lott, F.C. and Scott, P.A. and Mitchell, D.M. and Christidis, N. and Gillett, N.P. and Haimberger, L. and Perlwitz, J. and Thorne, Peter (2013) Models versus radiosondes in the free atmosphere: A new detection and attribution analysis of temperature. Journal of Geophysical Research, 118 (6). pp. 2609-2619. ISSN 0148-0227

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Abstract

This analysis revisits detection and attribution of free atmosphere temperatures from radiosondes, almost a decade after previous studies. Since that time, data sets have not only become longer, but understanding of observational uncertainty has vastly improved. In addition, a coordinated set of experiments exploring the effects of human and natural forcings on past climate change has been made with a new generation of climate models. These advances allow a much more thorough analysis of the effects of modeling and observational uncertainty on attribution results than previously possible. Observational uncertainty is explored using multiple radiosonde reconstructions including those with ensembles of realizations exploring the effects of processing choices. Modeling uncertainty is explored by calculating multiple fingerprints of natural influence (from changes in solar irradiance and volcanic aerosols) and of human influence (due to greenhouse gases and due to the effects of combined anthropogenic forcings including stratospheric ozone depletion). With increased confidence over previous studies, human influences (both greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcings) have been detected in spatiotemporal changes in free atmosphere temperature from 1961 to 2010, irrespective of whether the full atmospheric column (30–850 hPa) is examined or purely the troposphere, with stratospheric ozone depletion dominating the cooling that has been observed in the lower stratosphere. Thus the advances of the last decade yield increased confidence that anthropogenic influences have made a substantial contribution to the evolution of free atmosphere temperatures.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Models versus radiosondes; free atmosphere; new detection; attribution analysis; temperature;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Item ID: 6482
Identification Number: 10.1002/jgrd.50255
Depositing User: Peter Thorne
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2015 10:03
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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